By Tim O'Brien
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780142003381, 320pp.)
Publication Date: September 30, 2003
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As he did with In the Lake of the Woods, National Book Award winner Tim O'Brien strikes at the emotional nerve center of our lives with this ambitious, compassionate, and terrifically compelling new novel that tells the remarkable story of the generation molded and defined by the 1960s. At the thirtieth anniversary of Minnesota's Darton Hall College class of 1969, ten old friends reassemble for a July weekend of dancing, drinking, flirting, reminiscing, and regretting. The three decades since their graduation have seen marriage and divorce, children and careers, dreams deferred and disappointed-many memories and many ghosts. Together their individual stories create a portrait of a generation launched into adulthood at the moment when their country, too, lost its innocence. Imbued with his signature themes of passion, memory, and yearning, July, July is Tim O'Brien's most fully realized work.
Minnesota native Tim O'Brien graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul in 1968. He served as a foot soldier in Vietnam from February 1969 to March 1970. Following his military service, he went to graduate school in Government at Harvard University, then later worked as a national affairs reporter for The Washington Post. O'Brien is the author of the novel Going After Cacciato, winner of the 1979 National Book Award for fiction, and of The Things They Carried, winner of the 1990 Chicago Tribune Heartland Award in fiction. Its title story, first published in Esquire, received the 1987 National Magazine Award in fiction. His other books are If I Die in a Combat Zone, Northern Lights, and The Nuclear Age. His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Esquire, The Atlantic Monthly, Playboy, McCall's, Granta, Harper's, Redbook, The New Republic, Ploughshares, Gentleman's Quarterly, and Saturday Review. His short stories have been anthologized in The O. Henry Prize Stories (1976, 1978, 1982), Great Esquire Fiction, Best American Short Stories (1978, 1987), The Pushcart Prize (Vols. II and X), and in many textbooks and collections. He has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Massachusetts Arts and Humanities Foundation. In the Lake of the Woods was selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review as one of the best books of 1994.
"A small-scale tour de force by an American original . . . Tim O'Brien is one of the most accomplished members of a generation of writers that includes Don DeLillo and Thomas Pynchon."
"The individual portraits are astonishing for their clarity of character, for their narrative thrills and surprises, for their humor and hard-won wisdom. . . . July, July gives readers plenty of reasons to celebrate."
"Taut and compelling."
ùLos Angeles Times
"O'Brien's individual stories are crafted with exquisite precision. His writing is taut and unsentimental, and packs an emotional wallop."
ùSan Francisco Chronicle
"O'Brien's individual stories are crafted with exquisite precision. His writing is taut and unsentimental, and packs an emotional wallop." (San Francisco Chronicle)